Love in "Wuthering Heights"
The central theme of Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë is the relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff. The problem of the bond between Cathy and Heathcliff. The Relationship Between Catherine and Heathcliff - Download as Word Doc . doc /.docx), PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. An essay on the. The love-relationship of Heathcliff and Catherine, but not that of the other lovers, has become an archetype; it expresses the passionate longing to be whole.
Love inherently defies definition, but when I see two people that complete each other, that view each other as equals, that stand strong despite what the world may throw their way, how can I define it as anything other than love?
Still, how can such depth of feeling that drives both lovers to the very extremes of their being, both physically and emotionally, be considered love? According to my definition, their passion for each other falls outside the boundaries of healthy, true love and into the boundaries of destructive obsession, as they do not help each other grow, are not in an equal relationship, and are only partly ready to defy any obstacles that stand in their way. Catherine and Heathcliff most definitely fail to make each other better people, or grow in any way.
They are continuously bringing unrest to the house with their mischief, a feat that will only be multiplied in their adulthood. Their last conversation also highlight another vital point: How can this be seen as love, when they continuously physically and emotionally destroy rather than nurture and accept one another? Another indicator of their pseudo-love relationship is the lack of equality.
In his childhood Heathcliff is completed devoted to Catherine, a devotion that Catherine knows surpasses all else.
Heathcliff and Catherine: Love or Obsession? | IB HL Literature
Power should never be the dominant drive in a relationship. Heathcliff also exerts power in their relationship, if only years later when he returns: He did not raise his to her, often; a quick glance now and then sufficed; but if flashed back, each time more confidently, the undisguised delight he drank from hers. Moreover, it is hard to consider Catherine and Heathcliff equals when they continuously refer to themselves as one person; it is impossible to be equal when you are the same.
Similarly, in their last conversation Heathcliff compares Catherine to his soul, his life and his existence. How can you claim love when there is no other being to love?
Wuthering Heights - Wikipedia
Finally we come to the more ambiguous aspect, the notion that love conquers all. Although Catherine and Heathcliff do have an unwavering and transcendent passion for each other, their feelings for each are not enough for them to be together on earth. If Catherine loved Heathcliff she would have relinquished her fanciful aims for wealth and status and chosen Heathcliff over Edgar. Heathcliff accuses her of this betrayal as he holds her, dying, in his arms: As Heathcliff grows older his need to join Catherine grows until he finally joins her in death.catherine and heathcliff relationship essay
In this sense it does seem that their passion for each other prevailed, however not on this earth. The fact that they could only be joined in death may be evidence that their feelings could not exist in our world. The Lintons are landed gentryand Catherine is influenced by their elegant appearance and genteel manners. When she returns to Wuthering Heights, her appearance and manners are more ladylike, and she laughs at Heathcliff's unkempt appearance.
The next day, knowing that the Lintons are to visit, Heathcliff, upon Nelly's advice, tries to dress up, in an effort to impress Catherine, but he and Edgar get into an argument, and Hindley humiliates Heathcliff by locking him in the attic.
Catherine tries to comfort Heathcliff, but he vows revenge on Hindley. The following year, Frances Earnshaw gives birth to a son, named Haretonbut she dies a few months later.
Hindley descends into drunkenness. Two more years pass, and Catherine and Edgar Linton become friends, while she becomes more distant from Heathcliff.
Edgar visits Catherine while Hindley is away, and they declare themselves lovers soon afterwards. Catherine confesses to Nelly that Edgar has proposed marriage and she has accepted, although her love for Edgar is not comparable to her love for Heathcliff, whom she cannot marry because of his low social status and lack of education.
She hopes to use her position as Edgar's wife to raise Heathcliff's standing.
Catherine & Heathcliff's Relationship in Wuthering Heights: Analysis & Quotes
Heathcliff overhears her say that it would "degrade" her to marry him but not how much she loves himand he runs away and disappears without a trace.
Distraught over Heathcliff's departure, Catherine makes herself ill. Nelly and Edgar begin to pander to her every whim to prevent her from becoming ill again. Edgar and Catherine marry and go to live together at Thrushcross Grange, where Catherine enjoys being "lady of the manor". Six months later, Heathcliff returns, now a wealthy gentleman.
Catherine is delighted, but Edgar is not. Edgar's sister, Isabellasoon falls in love with Heathcliff, who despises her, but encourages the infatuation as a means of revenge. This leads to an argument with Catherine at Thrushcross Grange, which Edgar overhears. Finally, enraged by Heathcliff's constant appearance and foul parlance, he forbids Heathcliff from visiting Catherine altogether.
Upset, Catherine locks herself in her room and begins to make herself ill again. She is also now pregnant with Edgar's child. Heathcliff takes up residence at Wuthering Heights and spends his time gambling with Hindley and teaching Hareton bad habits. Hindley dissipates his wealth and mortgages the farmhouse to Heathcliff to pay his debts. Heathcliff elopes with Isabella Linton. Two months after their elopement, Heathcliff and Isabella return to Wuthering Heights, where Heathcliff discovers that Catherine is dying.
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With Nelly's help, he visits Catherine secretly. The following day, she gives birth to a daughter, Cathyshortly before dying. While Catherine is lying in her coffin overnight, prior to the funeral, Heathcliff returns and replaces the lock of Edgar's hair in her necklace with a lock of his own.
Shortly after the funeral, Isabella leaves Heathcliff and finds refuge in the South of England. She gives birth to a son, Linton. Hindley dies six months after Catherine, and Heathcliff thus finds himself master of Wuthering Heights. Catherine's daughter, Cathy, has become a beautiful, high-spirited girl. Edgar learns that his sister Isabella is dying, so he leaves to retrieve her son Linton in order to adopt and educate him.
Cathy, who has rarely left home, takes advantage of her father's absence to venture further afield. She rides over the moors to Wuthering Heights and discovers that she has not one but two cousins: Hareton, in addition to Linton.
She also lets it be known that her father has gone to fetch Linton. When Edgar returns with Linton, a weak and sickly boy, Heathcliff insists that he live at Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff hopes that Linton and Cathy will marry, so that Linton will become the heir to Thrushcross Grange. Linton and Cathy begin a secret friendship, echoing the childhood friendship between their respective parents, Heathcliff and Catherine.
Nelly finds out about the letters. The following year, Edgar becomes very ill and takes a turn for the worse while Nelly and Cathy are out on the moors, where Heathcliff and Linton trick them into entering Wuthering Heights.
Heathcliff keeps them captive to enable the marriage of Cathy and Linton to take place. After five days, Nelly is released, and later, with Linton's help, Cathy escapes.
She returns to the Grange to see her father shortly before he dies. Soon after she arrives, Linton dies. Hareton tries to be kind to Cathy, but she withdraws from the world. At this point, Nelly's tale catches up to the present day Time passes and, after being ill for a period, Lockwood grows tired of the moors and informs Heathcliff that he will be leaving Thrushcross Grange.
Ending chapters 32 to 34 [ edit ] Eight months later, Lockwood returns to the area by chance. Given that his tenancy at Thrushcross Grange is still valid, he decides to stay there again. He finds Nelly living at Wuthering Heights and enquires what has happened since he left. She explains that she moved to Wuthering Heights to replace the housekeeper, Zillah, who had left. Hareton has an accident and is confined to the farmhouse.
During his convalescence, he and Cathy overcome their mutual antipathy and become close. While their friendship develops, Heathcliff begins to act strangely and has visions of Catherine. He stops eating and, after four days of increasingly bad health, is found dead in Catherine's old room. He is buried next to Catherine. As he gets ready to leave, he passes the graves of Catherine, Edgar, and Heathcliff and pauses to contemplate the quiet of the moors.
Characters[ edit ] Heathcliff: Found, presumably orphaned, on the streets of Liverpool and taken by Mr. Earnshaw to Wuthering Heights, where he is reluctantly cared for by the family. He and Catherine grow close and their love is the central theme of the first volume. His revenge against the man she chooses to marry and its consequences are the central theme of the second volume. Heathcliff has been considered a Byronic herobut critics have pointed out that he reinvents himself at various points, making his character hard to fit into any single type.
He has an ambiguous position in society, and his lack of status is underlined by the fact that "Heathcliff" is both his given name and his surname. First introduced to the reader after her death, through Lockwood's discovery of her diary and carvings. The description of her life is confined almost entirely to the first volume. She seems unsure whether she is, or wants to become, more like Heathcliff, or aspires to be more like Edgar.
Some critics have argued that her decision to marry Edgar Linton is allegorically a rejection of nature and a surrender to culture, a choice with unfortunate, fateful consequences for all the other characters. Introduced as a child in the Linton family, he resides at Thrushcross Grange. Edgar's style and manners are in sharp contrast to those of Heathcliff, who instantly dislikes him, and of Catherine, who is drawn to him. Catherine marries him instead of Heathcliff because of his higher social status, with disastrous results to all characters in the story.